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LA Drone


JRomero

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All I really know about the LA Drone is that it was used to begin Led Zeppelin's shows for the second half of their 1972 concert tour of the United States and that it was written by John Paul Jones.

Does anybody have any more information about it?

Any info is much appreciated,

Jason ;)

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from wiki...

NOTE: i've never liked this source, but i hope this will do.

"LA Drone" is a short piece of music that the English rock band Led Zeppelin performed on the second half of their 1972 concert tour of the United States. It began their concert performances from June 15, 1972 up until June 28, 1972.

The monotonous drone was produced by Led Zeppelin keyboardist John Paul Jones on a Hammond Organ, played in the key of F#, which segued directly into the band's opening number, "Immigrant Song". The drone was intended to build a sense of suspense and anticipation in the concert audience.

Although no studio recording exists of "LA Drone," a live version of the song can be found on the live album, How the West Was Won. This captures the performance of "LA Drone" at the Long Beach Arena on June 27, 1972. Despite being only 0:14 on the live album, it was usually closer to a 1:30 in live performances.

"LA Drone" can also be heard on the Led Zeppelin DVD, being included on disc 2 at the introduction of the band's performance of "Immigrant Song". However, unlike How the West Was Won, the DVD does not include "LA Drone" on the track listing. Also, the DVD features a 0:25 version of the song which is eleven seconds longer than the album version.

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LA Drone was written by Page & Jones, not just Jones - check the sleeve credits.

IIRC it features bowed acoustic guitars (possibly backwards, but that might just be my memory). Not sure about the organ, but it's possible.

Also, I don't think it was "performed live". It was an intro tape.

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Ah, that's what that was-I always thought it sounded cool. Beats the heck out of the sad intro for In the Evening years later-I always found that disappointing besides Bonzo's tymps as they sounded great.

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Ah, that's what that was-I always thought it sounded cool. Beats the heck out of the sad intro for In the Evening years later-I always found that disappointing besides Bonzo's tymps as they sounded great.

Well, Zep never opened a show with 'In The Evening' but I take your point. Zep's live beginning of In The Evening pales in comparison to Plant's 88 tour version. Full marks to Messrs Doug Boyle, Phil Johnstone and Chris Blackwell for that one !! IMHO of course. :D

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Well, Zep never opened a show with 'In The Evening' but I take your point. Zep's live beginning of In The Evening pales in comparison to Plant's 88 tour version. Full marks to Messrs Doug Boyle, Phil Johnstone and Chris Blackwell for that one !! IMHO of course. :D

Hi Dave! I don't think POP was implying they'd actually started a show with In the Evening. ;)

I also have to side with HUW that I don't think LA Drone was keyboards. It sounds like real strings.

And a buck a pop to download that little smidge? Someone needs to alert the band about this. It's clearly an oversite, just because it's listed as a separate track in the running order. That should be corrected. It's the equivalent of paying for each segment of Atom Heart Mother by Pink Floyd in increments, when it's in fact one song with many sub-chapters.

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Hi Dave! I don't think POP was implying they'd actually started a show with In the Evening. ;)

Hi Ev, yeah i realised that although my post may not have made that clear.

And a buck a pop to download that little smidge?

Took me a few minutes to translate that !!! We are divided by a common language :D

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I will echo the statements above that I do recall a magazine article directly stating that it was a bowed acoustic guitar. I would have to track down the article because I can't recall whether Jimmy stated it himself or if it was part of the piece.

It's somewhere in a stack of mags in my closet, er I mean I must check with my archivist.

:D

My complaint on HTWWW is why so short? That is one cool intro......could've went on for much longer to build it up......like on the boots!

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...interesting to note that musicians often made a point of naming different sections of long musical pieces because otherwise they would just get royalties for the one piece; point being, perhaps it is no mistake that this piece is named as well as sold.

Back in the day they often wished they could leave their piece named singularly as they conceived it until they were informed they would make less money.

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...interesting to note that musicians often made a point of naming different sections of long musical pieces because otherwise they would just get royalties for the one piece; point being, perhaps it is no mistake that this piece is named as well as sold.

Back in the day they often wished they could leave their piece named singularly as they conceived it until they were informed they would make less money.

2112? Caress of Steel? Natural Science? Hemispheres? RUSH :lol:

Starship Trooper? Tales From Topographic Oceans? YES? :lol:

Yeah, when you fill an entire album side with one epic, what recourse is there? If I did an album that was one long piece, sure I'd break it into passages. Otherwise I wouldn't have the funds to do another. Business. What choice does an artist have if they want to survive in the industry?

If I was unclear, I'm agreeing with you POP! :beer:

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from wiki...

NOTE: i've never liked this source, but i hope this will do.

"LA Drone" is a short piece of music that the English rock band Led Zeppelin performed on the second half of their 1972 concert tour of the United States. It began their concert performances from June 15, 1972 up until June 28, 1972.

The monotonous drone was produced by Led Zeppelin keyboardist John Paul Jones on a Hammond Organ, played in the key of F#, which segued directly into the band's opening number, "Immigrant Song". The drone was intended to build a sense of suspense and anticipation in the concert audience.

Although no studio recording exists of "LA Drone," a live version of the song can be found on the live album, How the West Was Won. This captures the performance of "LA Drone" at the Long Beach Arena on June 27, 1972. Despite being only 0:14 on the live album, it was usually closer to a 1:30 in live performances.

"LA Drone" can also be heard on the Led Zeppelin DVD, being included on disc 2 at the introduction of the band's performance of "Immigrant Song". However, unlike How the West Was Won, the DVD does not include "LA Drone" on the track listing. Also, the DVD features a 0:25 version of the song which is eleven seconds longer than the album version.

I'm actually the person who wrote most of that article. A fellow Zeppelin fan/Wikipedia editor wrote the part about Jonesy playing the drone on a Hammond Organ in the key of F#.

From what I've read so far, would it be safe to assume that the drone was produced by Jimmy playing an acoustic guitar with a violin bow?

There are similarities between the LA Drone and the beginning drone of In The Light, and I know that Jimmy used a bowed acoustic for that song.

A huge thanks to all of the people who have posted information in this thread. It is greatly appreciated. :thumbsup:

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From what I've read so far, would it be safe to assume that the drone was produced by Jimmy playing an acoustic guitar with a violin bow?

It's a tough call. It does sound bowed, not a synth or an organ. And who knows what manner of treatments Jimmy may have applied. I can't say it was an acoustic, I've tried bowing an acoustic and there simply isn't enough signal there to make it so live. Of course, he could've compressed the shit out of it, but it just doesn't ring in my ears that way. Furthermore it's multi-tracked. There are clearly numerous "guitars" going there. But yes, I agree it's very similar to the drone on In The Light. In fact, thinking about it more, it might be a heavily compressed acoustic put through an echoplex that was set for an infinite repeat, so it continually recycled upon itself. That's a thought. Taking it that way, it could've been a single strum redoubled upon itself through the echoplex.

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"I can't say it was an acoustic, I've tried bowing an acoustic and there simply isn't enough signal there to make it so live."

Bowing an acoustic guitar can make quite an impressive array of sound,

I made most of the soundtrack of this movie by bowing an acoustic guitar recorded through a microphone with lots of effects on it.

(what you hear is actually 4 bowed guitars layered on the same 4 beeing played backwards, enjoy)

http://vids.myspace.com/index.cfm?fuseacti...ideoID=15998500

(if the link doesn't work, just copy and paste)

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That's funny to find this out. I always thought it was a recording of an orchestra warming up (right before they start, they go into that drone). I thougt I even heard the conductor click his baton. Very cool to hear it was created by members of the band.

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"I can't say it was an acoustic, I've tried bowing an acoustic and there simply isn't enough signal there to make it so live."

Bowing an acoustic guitar can make quite an impressive array of sound,

I made most of the soundtrack of this movie by bowing an acoustic guitar recorded through a microphone with lots of effects on it.

(what you hear is actually 4 bowed guitars layered on the same 4 beeing played backwards, enjoy)

http://vids.myspace.com/index.cfm?fuseacti...ideoID=15998500

(if the link doesn't work, just copy and paste)

man, you made me sit through that to listen for "an impressive array of sounds". i think you could get a more impressive array by throwing meat against the wall...

sorry. that was a cheap shot. bad beatbo.

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I think you could get a more impressive array by throwing meat against the wall...

Cool idea, give it a shot and post me the recording, hah hah (else we could sell the idea to Snotklip, uhhh Slipknot)

:D :D :D

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It's definitely a bowed guitar, and it's definitely a pre-recorded drone designed specifically to open the concert. I know I have the quote from Jimmy somewhere.....I'll see if I can dig it up tonight or tomorrow.

BTW, the drone is actually about 10 seconds longer on the DVD............

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Explanation from Jimmy himself:

"Just something that had never been done before was to -- well, not that I know of anyway -- was to have something that was really atmospheric. It would start, and creep into the auditorium. And, really it was just like a bowed -- you know, I used to bow the electric guitar in 'Dazed And Confused' -- but to bow it acoustically. And so, the whole thing would start opening up with this really, really weird sound. And people wouldn't know at all that it was a bowed guitar, and then it would be in exactly the same key as the first number we were starting with, 'Immigrant Song'. And that was it. It set the scene for a magic night."

Apparently it was used only for the last 10 shows of the 1972 U.S. tour.

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anyone ever heard of an indian instrument called a Tampura? looks basically like a sitar without frets, generating a backward sounding droning noise. listen to ravi shankar or beatles george harrison stuff like 'Within you without you'. or the beginning of Tomorrow never knows.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=y1u489DqbMQ

i´m just talking about the background drones, not the melody instruments.

can u feel where the inspiration comes from? when was that JP/RP Bombay trip - 1971 ?

it´s like an acoustic incense stick in a way..

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